Remind Uninsured Patients: ACA Enrollment Ends Aug. 15


The Texas Medical Association encourages physicians to remind uninsured patients to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which has been extended to Aug. 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More than 2 million people have signed up for health coverage during the SEP, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a mid-July release.

The agency's release also touted “record high enrollment” based on the February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot, which showed 81 million people covered through Medicaid and CHIP.

CMS said the June Marketplace SEP report showed that 1.5 million people had signed up on and another 600,000 had enrolled through the 15 state-based marketplaces. “The report also shows that of the new and returning consumers who have selected a plan since April 1, 1.2 million consumers (34%) have selected a plan that costs $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) premium reductions,” the release said.

In addition to the extended enrollment period, people who buy coverage directly through the ACA Marketplace are now eligible for increased tax credits that will create a significant drop in premiums, CMS said. The tax credits were part of the ARP, the latest federal COVID-19 relief package that was signed into law earlier this year. 

“This action will allow individuals and families more time to access the SEP and enroll in Marketplace coverage with the increased tax credits to reduce their premiums, and for current enrollees to change plans in response to the availability of increased tax credits if they wish to do so,” CMS said. 

Not all uninsured people are eligible for Marketplace plans or the increased subsidies. The Kaiser Family Foundation website includes a calculator that allows patients to easily determine their eligibility.  

More than 5.2 million Texans lack health insurance, making the state No. 1 in the U.S. in the number of uninsured.

Last year, more than 1.1 million people enrolled in private plans through the Texas exchange, reports show.

Last Updated On

July 21, 2021

Originally Published On

March 25, 2021

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